Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Spring Is Here!

I love the way our yard looks during spring!
It's always so encouraging to see new life and growth after the long, cold winter!

Our baby irises are right outside the back door.
As I teach each day, this is the view from the window!
Each year I try to decide which color I like best--the variegated...
...the bright yellows
...or the brilliant reds.
I think I've finally decided that I can't pick a favorite! I love all the cheerful colors!
I took these pictures of our grape hyacinths right after it rained so I could catch the water droplets.
The handiwork of God!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Spring Recital

This past Sunday I had my student piano recitals. Like last year, I split the students into two groups. My family was grateful not to sit through 2+ hours all at one time!

His twin, Elijah
Not all of my students could be in the recitals, so I had the Kalebaugh girls perform in both. Plus, I like the younger kids to hear advanced students. It gives them incentive!
The Friday night before the recital, I called Crystal and asked if she was up for a last minute addition. The next morning, we worked up a skit for the offering. If you've ever seen Victor Borge perform Hungarian Rhapsody by Liszt, you have an idea what we did.
We "fought" over the piano, played sideways, reached around each other, pulled the other person's hat down, ran around the bench, switched spots, etc...
At one point, she even sat on my lap while I played around her! The music was far from perfect, but we sure had fun together!
In between recitals, some of the girls took the opportunity to take a few pictures. It was raining, but that didn't stop them.

Rachel, Gabrielle, Becky, Crystal, and Samantha
Recital number two was just as much fun!
I enjoy watching all my students play, but it's especially fun to see my little ones up there. Their feet don't even touch the floor.

Steven and Michael both played worship songs, and their dad accompanied them on the guitar.
I think reception time is probably the favorite part of the recital for many people--my brother being one of them! ;-)
Actually, my family members all help out with the setting up, serving, and clean up, and I couldn't do it without them! It allows me to visit with the guests and congratulate students without having to worry about a thing.
As Jase served punch, Sam kept him company. He was trying to get away from my camera, but I managed to get a shot of him!
My mom and grandpa made the table decorations.

Time for clean up.
Sarah was a great helper!

The Kalebaughs and their relatives--faithful friends helping out to the end!
Sarah's brothers and Dad
It was a very long day, but I really enjoyed hearing my students perform after all their hard work!

I'm posting a video clip of Crystal. It may take a while to open since it is 4 minutes long, but it's worth the wait! She arranged her own song this year! The proud teacher has to brag on her students some, right?!!!

Seriously though, it's amazing to me what God can do through someone. He gives us a gift, but what we do with that gift is up to us. Will we offer that gift and ourselves back to the Lord and allow Him to work through us to bless others, or will we use it only for our own advancement and glory? I am so thankful God has allowed me to help other people develop their gifts and give them the opportunities to use their talents for Him!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Passover Next Door

Last week we were excited to find this book in the mailbox! The Weinbergers commissioned Melody to illustrate their book Passover Next Door.
She had 18 full size paintings to complete and a number of small ones as well.

She worked a long time on all of these, and we were really excited to see the completed book! Great job, Mel!!!

To go to the website where the book is being sold....

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Jason's mall display

Recently Jason put up a landscape display in our local mall. He and Dave (his field manager) worked really hard to get everything ready in time for the big weekend--designing, building, purchasing, etc. We assisted in whatever way we could. Melody helped him choose and arrange the flowers and plants.
Jason and Dave arrived at the mall around 7 p.m. on Friday and began the prep work before the rest of the guys arrived.
I'd have to say their completed display looks much better than this empty mall floor.
One of Dad's customers gave them some old carpeting to protect the floor.
They had 12 pallets of materials.

Jason constructed a plastic tent to use when they were cutting the bricks so the dust wouldn't go all over the mall.
The wooden platform is the base for a raised patio.

Keegan, Dave, Dan, Zech, and Kurt
(Dad was there too, but I missed getting a picture of him.)
Since the guys were planning on working through the night until the mall opened again in the morning, Jason knew they would need some sustenance to keep them going.
We three girls delivered pizza and brownies at midnight and then went home to bed!
Around 7:00 the next morning, Jase called to have us come help arrange and put in the plants.
It took them quite a while to put in all the mulch. The doors at the back of the mall weren't quite big enough for him to drive his dump truck through them, so they had to use wheel barrows. I was really hoping the truck would have fit. Wouldn't that have been a great picture--a dump truck in a mall?

Time for clean up.
They're still standing and awake after 14 hours of work!
My grandpa, Uncle John, and Mom made the stands to display Jason's signs.
Everything was completed just as the mall was opening!
The firepit...
The patio complete with furniture...
It was fun to hear the comments people made as they walked by that morning. I think some were a little surprised to see something so big in the middle of the mall!

Everyone loved the water feature!

Many of our friends went to check out the finished display the first weekend it was up. We went back that Sunday with the Lees to take a few more pictures.
Isaac and Kaleb really loved the water. They wanted to know if they could drink from it.

The owner of Mirror Landscapes.
Ready to talk to potential customers.
You did a great job guys!